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Bill 239 response
 

Club Whitesands - Memo to Pookhs
From Gary Faulkner

R. R. #1 Buckhorn, Ontario K0L 1J0
Phone 705 657-8432  whitesands@primus.ca
January 6, 2003

Hello again,

We hope that you will find the following Table for Bill 239 to provide "food for thought".  We would very much appreciate receiving your comments, questions and / or other information you might have concerning the KHRR issue as soon as possible.
We also hope that our collective views and opinions might be assembled into a submission that we could all support that could be presented to  Minister Ouellette and other parties able to help our cause.
I will also be pleased to redistribute revised drafts of this table presenting your suggestions, but time is of the essence. ... (ed comment removed as out of date)
Please do not hesitate to distribute this table to others if it seems useful.
The suggestions in column #2 are mine alone and I have no authority to represent any other person or group.  Pookhs are (almost all) owners of property in the Kawartha Highlands who are sharing information for their mutual benefit.  We are in contact with Pookhs on almost every waterway in the proposed KHRR (if it resembles the Hypothetical map I have sent you).
Please bring any errors I may have made to my attention.
Thank you for your attention.

Gary Faulkner
 
Bill 239 2002 Draft January 6, 2003 Comments / Questions by GBF Comments / Questions by (Your Name)
An Act to establish a recreation reserve
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
Definition
1.  In this Act, "recreation reserve" means lands that are established as a recreation reserve under section 2.
According to Jack van der Meer of Meteek & Company, a consultant for the MNR, major portions of Anstruther, Burleigh and Harvey Townships were referred to as "recreation reserves" as early as 1959 by J.W. Spooner who was Minister of Lands and Forests at the time. 

Establishment of recreation reserves
2.  (1)  The lands referred to in subsection (2) are hereby established as a recreation reserve for the purpose of ensuring that the lands are used solely for recreational and non-industrial commercial activities in accordance with section 5.

Kawartha Highlands
(2)  Subsection (1) applies to lands known as the Kawartha Highlands and more particularly described in the regulations made under this Act.

Lands excluded

(3)  A recreation reserve established under this Act shall not include any lands,

(a) that have been patented under or by authority of any statute;

(b) that have been leased under or by authority of any statute, regulation or order in council respecting mines, minerals or mining so long as the lease remains valid; and

(c) that have been staked and recorded in accordance with the Mining Act so long as the claim remains valid.

Most persons agree that recreation reserve is a much better name for the newly protected area because it does not conjure up visions of developed camp grounds that are usually associated with parks.  Such camping facilities, van der Meer has indicated, are unlikely except  within the existing KHPP.

NB:  Note that the EBR posting AB02E4002 specifically excludes the existing KHPP  from the KHRR , but Bill 239 does not.  If there are no immediate plans to upgrade the KHPP to "operating" status, would it make sense to include it as part of the KHRR until there are such plans?

For purposes of discussion the hypothetical KHRR  map we have sent you shows a possible boundary for the KHRR.  It should not be assumed that this boundary bears any resemblance whatsoever to the boundary for the KHRR that Minister Jerry Ouellette has in mind.  (But it could.) 

The boundary shown approximates the KHSS boundary that was proposed in July 1999 when the "Cabinet Approved" Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy was made public.  This boundary was intended to be adjusted, we assumed, as a result of reasonable negotiations between affected property owners and the LSC.

Presumably 2(b) and 2(c) refer to the Forest Reserves shown on the attached map as well as, possibly, other areas.

Management
3.  A recreation reserve is under the control and management of the Minister of Natural Resources.
Is the "co-stewardship" concept dead?  I don’t think it should be, particularly within "utilization zones".  Local  property owners and the municipalities could provide very valuable input regarding protection and management of the KHRR.  Of course we agree that the Minister has ultimate control.
Public lands
4.  (1)  Lands that are part of a recreation reserve are deemed to be public lands for the purposes of the Public Lands Act and are subject to the provisions of that Act and of the regulations made under that Act.
This is a huge improvement compared to control of the entire area under the Provincial Parks Act as proposed by the LSC.

 Normally, Crown lands controlled under the PLA are controlled by the local Area Supervisor.  If this is true for Recreation Reserves, then the Minden District and the Bancroft District Area Supervisors would share control over the KHRR. 

Normally the provisions of the Free Use Policy apply to lands controlled under the PLA, and this is very desirable subject to the reasonable controls proposed in Sections 5 (3) and 5 (4) below.  We suggest that local property owners and municipalities have input regarding the implementation of these controls.

The KHPP will  be controlled by a park superintendent, under the Provincial Parks Act.  Will it be an operating Provincial Park with staff and a reasonable budget?

Permitted uses, recreational

5.  (1)  Recreational activities may be carried out in a recreation reserve in accordance with the law, including the following recreational activities:
1. Hunting and fishing.
2. Camping.
3. Canoeing and boating.
4. Snowmobiling.
5. Hiking, cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing.

Same, commercial uses

(2)  Non-industrial commercial activities may be carried out in a recreation reserve in accordance with the law, including the following commercial activities:
1. Commercial fur harvest.
2. Guided hunting.
3. Wild rice harvest.
4. Bait fish harvest.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Designating utilization zones

(3)  In managing a recreation reserve, the Minister may from time to time define areas in the reserve in which certain of the activities permitted under subsections (1) and (2) are not to be carried out or which are to be reserved as areas in which only some of those activities are to be carried out.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Signage

(4)  The Minister may cause notices or signs to be posted in the reserve for the purpose of indicating to the public the location of the areas referred to in subsection (3) and either the activities that are not permitted in the area or the activities for which the area is reserved, as the case may be.


 

Shouldn’t  some ATV use also be specifically provided for,  particularly to access the OFSC Trails which could be used for ATV use?  Recreational trails should be regarded as expensive four-season resources.
 
 
 
 

We do not intend that rallies for moto-cross or by off-road four wheel drive (highway) vehicles should be extensively promoted in the area bounded by County Roads 503, 507, 36 and 29.  However, ATVs should be allowed for access purposes and considerate trail riding in some of this area.
 
 
 
 
 

___________________________________________

NB:
Utilization zones are an excellent concept and I suggest that continuous corridors of utilization zones be established near all private properties.  Management prescriptions for these corridors could be developed, with input from the municipalities, property owners, the MNR and other user groups. 

These prescriptions could provide appropriate protection, and also mitigate potential conflicts (provide buffering) that might arise between different user groups utilizing the same tract of Crown land (e.g. trail users and cottagers, or campers and cottagers).

These corridors of utilization zones: controlled as provided in Sections 5(3) and 5(4) , excluding the Prohibited Activities of Section 6, and also excluding dispositions as provided in Section 10, could provide a mechanism for producing "Win-Win" solutions to everyone’s problems. 

We suggest that non-excluded day-use activities by local property owners and their guests in these corridors of utilization zones  might be grandfathered (free) in exchange for some stewardship of the areas.
___________________________________________

Enforced signage is an excellent way to prevent abuses of the area on a "when and as required - site specific" basis.  It  is not a new concept.

Please review Section 28 of the PLA and Section 3.4.4a) of the Free Use Policy, they repeat this provision. 

Prohibited uses
6.  The following activities shall not be carried out in a recreation reserve:

1. Prospecting, staking mining claims, developing mineral interests or working mines.
2. Commercial forest harvesting.
3. Water power development.
4. Aggregate extraction.
5. Peat extraction.


Park and Conservation Reserve designations treat utility corridors as hydro-electric development and discourage them.  Item 6.-3. by defining hydro-development more reasonably represents a significant improvement.  We assume that utility corridors are not excluded, but this should be clarified, and interim freezes should be lifted immediately to permit the enjoyment of some properties in the KHRR area.
Right of access
7.  Nothing in this Act shall limit or in any way diminish a right of access to or through land that is part of a recreation reserve where that right was created before the day the recreation reserve was established under section 2.
NB:  A recent  memo to Bob Walsh from Julia Bryan in Minister Chris Hodgson’s office has greatly complicated the interpretation of this section in some people’s minds.  Clarification is required immediately.

Please see the 1983 Bancroft / Minden District Land Use Guidelines (DLUGs). They are still in effect for General Use Crown land.  Also, refer to the Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy, July 1999, Section 6.1.5, Page 16 and  Section 9.1, Page 33.

The Minden District LUGs, which have been in effect since 1982, describe roads and trails as "unrestricted recommended uses" on General Use Crown land.  See pages 38 and 39 of the Minden DLUGs.

Maps produced prior to 1875,(1975?) when Anstruther Lake was referred to as Eagle Lake, clearly show road allowances.

Note that almost all private properties in close proximity to the proposed KHRR, excluding those on Bottle,  Cox, Long and Loucks Lakes, were surrounded by General Use Crown Land prior to Lands for Life and Ontario’s Living Legacy initiatives.  Bottle Lake properties have been surrounded by the Provincial Park designation for quite some time; and Cox, Long and Loucks Lakes properties have been surrounded by restricted access designations since 1983, or earlier.

Refer also to the Tables of Permitted Uses on General Use Crown Land provided by the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Round Table in Tabloid Number Three, February 1998.

Authorized occupation of land

8.  Nothing in this Act shall affect any right to occupy land that is part of a recreation reserve where the right to occupy the land was granted under the Public Lands Act before the day the recreation reserve was established under section 2 and is exercised in accordance with the terms and conditions contained in the instrument granting the right or in a provision under the Public Lands Act.

Acquisition of land

9.  Land may be acquired under the Ministry of Government Services Act for the purposes of developing and establishing future recreation reserves or of expanding an existing recreation reserve.

Please see Appendix I.  The Ministry of Government Services Act provides for the expropriation of private property from unwilling vendors.

This section indicates that Recreation Reserves are being treated similarly to Parks and Conservation Reserves with regard to acquisition by the MNR of private property.  The MNR has stated an intent to acquire private properties adjacent to newly protected areas in the southern part of the GLSLA planning area.

Historically this happened when the boundaries of Killarney were extended in the 1960’s and some private properties were acquired by the MNR.

Disposition of land

10.  Land that is part of a recreation reserve shall not be transferred in fee simple by grant of letters patent or by any other means.

What will happen to Crown Land "shelf lots"?  Will they be included in the KHRR, or not?  Can they still be sold as was provided for  in Ontario’s Living Legacy, Land Use Strategy, July 1999, Section 6.1.8, Page 17? 

For assessment purposes what is the "market value" of something that cannot be sold?

Fees

11.  The Minister may establish and charge,

(a) fees for entrance into a recreation reserve of persons, vehicles, boats or aircraft;

(b) fees for the use of a recreation reserve or of any facility or service in the reserve; and

(c) fees and rentals for any licence, permit, lease or other right issued, made or given in respect of a recreation reserve.

In the absence of boundary information this section seems very complicated.

For example, air and surface rights on water are usually controlled by Federal legislation.  There are exceptions for water-ways surrounded by Provincial Parks.  Is it possible that Catchacoma, Mississagua, Gold, Beaver, etc. Lakes will be surrounded by a Recreational Reserve?  Where will you cross the line and be subject to fees?

What other restrictions might you encounter on water-ways within Recreation Reserves?

Will there be new fees for roads not assumed by the Municipality that cross a Recreation Reserve?

Will land under water be part of the Recreation Reserve?  This opens up some complex assessment and other issues for commercial water lots.  Ask me if you wish to know about this.  Recently, attempts have been made to extend these issues to residential properties.

Would it be reasonable to grandfather day use activities in certain areas by local property owners?  Why not?

It is highly desirable to have some boundary information in order to reasonably restrict the areas of concern.

NB:  On the plus side, all of the proposals to regulate transient overnight camping propose a reservation system and fees.  This section opens the door for reasonable cost recovery mechanisms and administrative procedures to be established to help prevent further abuse of canoe routes and camping areas. 

If Fees are charged (and they should be) I believe that a significant portion of the moneys collected (collector whom?) should be turned over to the local municipality, to alleviate expenses incurred i.e. road repair, garbage removal, and clean-up; such that the "reserve" or whatever, is revenue neutral to that municipality. If there is a shortfall the Province/MNR should be accountable. 
All persons paying taxes in the local municipality should have qualified free access to the "reserve".
Ivan Battye
Regulations

12.  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations describing the lands that are to be included in the Kawartha Highlands Recreation Reserve for the purposes of subsection 2 (2). 

This provision is far to open. Why? It seems likely that many improbable scenarios (e.g. land under water) will have to be carefully considered in the absence of some clarification of the boundary that eliminates these possibilities.

According to some reports, all exclusions and / or buffer zones are "off the table" and boundaries for the KHRR could be your property lines.

As another example, parts of the boundary were negotiated with the forestry industry about May of 1999, outside of the Lands for Life and Ontario’s Living Legacy processes that were open to the public.  Are these negotiations going to be reopened to adjust these parts of the boundary?  If so, this could be quite time consuming, and many persons could be affected.

NB:  Should there be a provision that would prevent the KHPP from being expanded within the KHRR to effectively make most or all of the KHRR a Provincial Park?

Commencement
13.  This Act comes into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.
Short title
14.  The short title of this Act is the Recreation Reserve Act, 2002.
EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Bill establishes a recreation reserve in the Kawartha Highlands. The lands comprised in the recreation reserve are to be described in the regulations but shall not include any lands that are excluded under subsection 2 (3). 
A recreation reserve is to be used for recreational activities such as hunting and fishing, canoeing and snowmobiling and for non-industrial commercial activities such as commercial fur harvesting and guided hunting. Areas in the reserve may be defined by the Minister and set aside for particular recreational or commercial activities. Industrial activities are prohibited in a recreation reserve.
The Minister may charge fees for the use of the lands within the reserve. 

Once again, the KHPP is not mentioned.
Miscellaneous questions, etc. 1. There does not appear to be any restriction to prevent the KHPP from growing within the KHRR to the point that the entire KHRR could, effectively, become a Provincial Park.

2.  Bill 239 does not address the important issues regarding access to and management of the existing KHPP.  This is a disappointment to many.  Property owners and the municipality should be involved in designing operational procedures for,  and access to, the KHPP.

3.  What has happened to the "interpretive center" concept?  Is it still a possibility?